More Than A Number
I wasn't planning on posting today. I actually forgot. I had a short post in mind, but I felt the itch. That feeling in the back of your head. That pounding in your chest and lightness in your belly that says, "You have to do this." I don't know who this is for, but I'm glad it's found you.
I'm still trying this whole thing out. I'm trying out a lot of things. Last year (and ever since) has been a year of changes. Leaving LA was one of the hardest things I've ever done and then working at a poorly structured company, starting my MFA, and figuring out what I want to do with my life, I found solace in fiction.
I've always lost myself in the lives of others. I've always wondered what it would be like to be someone else. I've always wanted to understand people on a deeper level. Fiction lets us know people in a way we don't have access to in real life.
Then I met Rex.
Well, reacquainted myself with him.
The Clone Wars series follows Obi-wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and yes, the one and only Ahsoka Tano. But the real show stealer is CT-7567, Captain Rex. Most leaders always have a right-hand man, someone in their corner, someone capable and loyal to a fault. Master Kenobi had Commander Cody, as seen in Episode III, and Commander Skywalker had Captain Rex. Rex is an ARC Trooper. Responsible for countless clones, he fought with the Jedi for years, battling it out from the Separatists to the Empire. He even fought alongside General Leia Organa as seen in Episode VI.
I rewatched the series last year, and with every turbulent event going on in my life, I fell in love with Rex all over again. His leadership, his blasting skills, and his ability alone to keep his mouth shut is something to applaud. But what I love most about Rex is his willingness to help others.
The whole point of the clone program was for them to be expendable. Replaceable. Nothing more than a string of numbers in a database of information.
Often times, I feel like those clones. Like a cog in the machine of life, an expendable gear to be replaced when I start squeaking too loud and making too much of a mess. A mentor once told me that everyone is replaceable. But it's how many people it takes to replace you, to fill the void, and have it still not be enough, that's the key to being irreplaceable.
I continued watching the show, and watched the clones gave each other names.
CT-5555 became, well, Fives. CT-782 bore the name Hevy because he was a baddie with heavy artillery. CC-3636 became Wolffe and donned a slick helmet and wolf face pattern on his armor. The clones became more than their identifiers. They became more than what others called them. They reclaimed their lives. They were no longer property of the Kaminoans or the Republic.
They were brothers.
Rex was always willing to help his brothers. To share the load. To listen to their complaints. To mourn with them. A soldier through and through, he never gave up and he never backed down.
And you know what? He still responded to his number.
You are a number in the machine, and you're something else entirely. You couldn't replace Rex's story arc in the Clone Wars with anyone else. It wouldn't be the same. So be you. Unapologetically. Embrace yourself for who you are, and get a tattoo to remind yourself of it.
May the Fourth be with you.